A monthly meal plan can be a great way to ensure that you and your family are eating healthy meals on a regular basis, and may also help you to save money at the grocery store. It can be a challenge to plan for a month's meals all at once; some people find it easier to start with a week or two, and then move up to a month once you get the hang of it. With a little preparation, however, it's not too difficult. You will want to begin by collecting a number of different recipes, and determining how many meals those recipes will likely create. Planning the grocery list is the next step; some things may be bought in bulk in advance, but other fresh ingredients will need to be purchased weekly.
The best place to begin when trying to create a monthly meal plan is to go through your existing recipe books and start looking for ones that look interesting. You might also check online for new recipes. It is generally recommended to select about twenty recipes for the month; it is likely that you'll have enough leftovers that you won't need to create a new recipe every day of the month. Also, if you particularly like a recipe, you might want to make it again in the month.
When you are creating the monthly meal plan from your recipes, most people find it helpful to write it down. This makes it easier to see at a glance what you'll be making, as well as make sure you aren't making similar meals too close together. Ensure that each meal includes a blend of nutritious foods such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This will ensure the meals are healthy as well as filling.
As you are writing the monthly meal plan down, it may be helpful to start making your grocery lists at this point. Identify things that can be purchased in advance, or fresh items that will need to be purchased the week they will be used. Compare this to the items you already have on hand so you do not buy duplicates, and then try to shop when things are on sale, or with coupons, to save some money. It may seem like a big project to make a monthly meal plan at the start of each month, but it will become easier over time, and it will really save time throughout the rest of the month when you already know what to have for dinner.